Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck
The idea is to provide inviting contact that your horse wants to stretch into.
This is EXTREMELY boring but have you tried one rein stops with her? This will encourage her to bring her head down and soften her. Once she does, and you start to feel her bend in the poll, immediately reward her by giving some release to your contact. I also did lots of halts and just squeezing and sponging the reins to encourge flexion and dropping of the head. Once my horse brought her head down I released the rein.
Also, when she gets her muscles built up she can begin to carry herself in more of a frame, that will help too. But doing the transitions, the one rein stops and lots of bending and turning will encourage her to flex at the poll and build up her topline and abs. This is what will carry her in a frame and allow her to collect herself. Right now she might struggle to do it for too long. But she will get there. And when she drops her head, reward her.
You are getting better. And wow! The no stirrup canter was great!